Placement Assessments

STCC is committed to the academic success of all entering students. The college develops an Entrance Assessment Review to provide every student with proper advising and to promote retention. The Entrance Assessment Review is used to evaluate student competency in reading, writing, mathematics, and keyboard skills and aids STCC students and advisors in planning an appropriate course of study. This testing is required before registering for classes. No credit is awarded based on entrance assessments.

  • All incoming students matriculating in degree or certificate of completion programs will complete the entrance assessment before registering for classes. If the results reveal a need for a stronger foundation in vital academic skills, students will be directed to appropriate developmental courses and support services.
  • Students whose reviews indicate a need to further develop skills in reading, writing, mathematics, or keyboard skills must complete appropriate developmental courses designated to prepare students to succeed in college-level programs. Completion of developmental coursework may extend the time required to complete a degree or certificate program.


Exemptions may apply to:

  1. Students transferring equivalent college-level coursework into STCC from an accredited post-secondary institution; course transfer requires a grade of “C-” or better.
  2. High school graduates with a cumulative high school GPA of 2.7 earned within the past three years (for math exemption) or the past ten years (for reading and writing exemptions) (effective for new STCC students beginning in the Fall 0f 2019 or later)
  3. HiSET earners with a score of 15 or higher earned within the past three years (effective for new STCC students beginning in the Fall of 2020 or later) will be placed into college-level Math and English.
  4. GED earners with a score of 165 or higher earned within the past three years (effective for new STCC students beginning in the Fall of 2020 or later) will be placed into college-level Math and English.
  5. Students having Mathematics, English writing, reading, or keyboard skills examination scores on STCC Entrance Assessments which are two years old or less.
  6. Students who have completed coursework in English, reading, and mathematics at STCC, with a grade level of C- or better.

Testing Process

During these difficult and uncertain times, STCC faculty and staff have worked together to develop a new testing process. Students that need to complete the STCC Entrance Assessment will do the following:


STCC requires an ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL) Assessment to determine readiness for mathematics courses. ALEKS PPL is a web-based program that uses artificial intelligence to map a student’s strengths and weaknesses. The Placement Assessment is up to 30 questions and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete. After the Placement Assessment, an individualized Prep and Learning Module is available for students to refresh their knowledge on forgotten topics. Students then have the opportunity to reassess and improve their placement.

ALEKS consists of three parts:

  • An initial Placement Assessment
  • The Prep and Learning Module, an individualized, self-paced online overview
  • Access to 4 additional Placement Assessments

STCC encourages each student to spend time in the Prep and Learning Module even if the desired score is achieved because time spent in ALEKS will ultimately lead to better preparation and improved grades.


To prepare for the mathematics assessment students are encouraged to complete the following practice problems:


A Testing Center staff person will send test results and a self-assessment grid with instructions to each student. The student will then choose the English course they feel is appropriate and discuss their selected course with their academic advisor when they register for classes. Please see the Directed Self-Placement page for more details.


Students taking a CMP class or a class with a basic keyboarding prerequisite will need to take the keyboard placement. Students with a high school GPA higher than 2.7 are exempt from keyboard placement.